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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050694

Modeling Solar Radiation in the Forest Using Remote Sensing Data: A Review of Approaches and Opportunities

1
Department of Geomatics and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Forestry, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
2
Laboratory of Geomatics, Forest Research Institute, Sękocin Stary, 05-090 Raszyn, Poland
3
Department of Geoinformation, Institute of Urban Geography and Tourism, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, University of Lodz, 90-137 Lodz, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Radiation, Modelling and Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Solar radiation, the radiant energy from the sun, is a driving variable for numerous ecological, physiological, and other life-sustaining processes in the environment. Traditional methods to quantify solar radiation are done either directly (e.g., quantum sensors), or indirectly (e.g., hemispherical photography). This study, however, evaluates literature which utilized remote sensing (RS) technologies to estimate various forms of solar radiation or components, thereof under or within forest canopies. Based on the review, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has, so far, been preferably used for modeling light under tree canopies. Laser system’s capability of generating 3D canopy structure at high spatial resolution makes it a reasonable choice as a source of spatial information about light condition in various parts of forest ecosystem. The majority of those using airborne laser system (ALS) commonly adopted the volumetric-pixel (voxel) method or the laser penetration index (LPI) for modeling the radiation, while terrestrial laser system (TLS) is preferred for canopy reconstruction and simulation. Furthermore, most of the studies focused only on global radiation, and very few on the diffuse fraction. It was also found out that most of these analyses were performed in the temperate zone, with a smaller number of studies made in tropical areas. Nonetheless, with the continuous advancement of technology and the RS datasets becoming more accessible and less expensive, these shortcomings and other difficulties of estimating the spatial variation of light in the forest are expected to diminish. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar radiation; understory light condition; forest canopy; subcanopy light regime; PAR; shortwave radiation; light attenuation; remote sensing solar radiation; understory light condition; forest canopy; subcanopy light regime; PAR; shortwave radiation; light attenuation; remote sensing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Olpenda, A.S.; Stereńczak, K.; Będkowski, K. Modeling Solar Radiation in the Forest Using Remote Sensing Data: A Review of Approaches and Opportunities. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 694.

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